The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (2-1, Big East 0-0) is preparing itself for conference play in two weeks against St. Johns (2-0, Big East 0-0). The team looks to, at the very least, equal last year’s semifinal showing in the Big East playoffs, but faces a conference that appears to be very competitive.
In his second year as head coach, Kevin Warne does not have to face the challenge he had last year of implementing his personal brand on the program. He said, “Now that players are getting used to the staff, and understand what the standards are,” the team as a whole is more cohesive. This collective understanding in the team is essential to the next few weeks, where Warne says, “We’ll find out a lot more about ourselves.” The rest of the Big East is also now well aware of the Hoyas’ style of play, a change from last year where Warne’s system was shrouded in mystery until the beginning of the season.
The team has had some turnover from the 2013 season, most notably the replacement of all three defensive starters from last year. The chemistry of the team has become one of unity. “No one really cares about the credit, they just want to win games,” Warne said. There is also a spirit of not putting pressure on individual players to carry the team, ensuring that no one is forced to always step up.
Even with this unity, Coach Warner still says “this team will go where [graduate student] Tyler Knorr and [redshirt junior] Jake Healy take us.” Knorr, a captain, was a second-team All-Big East Selection last year, and Healy had several strong performances in the net to close out last year. What their performances provide is stability, ensuring that there is not too much reliance on any specific individual on the team.
Ultimately, this year will be a battle for the Hoyas because of the depth and strength of the Big East. Two big fixtures to look out for are the nationally televised games against Loyola (2-1, 0-0 Big East) on March 19, and against Denver (4-2, 0-0 Big East) on March 26. The latter team is new to the Big East, but will be Georgetown’s first real test in the conference, as it was ranked the preseason number one, and has been to the last two NCAA tournament semifinals.
The Hoyas’ next home game is against Harvard (1-1, 0-0 Ivy) on March 8 on Multi-Sport field at noon.